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How To: Make healthy desserts for kids

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Dessert doesn’t have to equal junk food on children’s plates. “If you stick with simple, all-natural ingredients, desserts can be a sweet, satisfying and healthy addition to your family’s daily diet,” says Laurel Moll, a New York-based holistic health coach and author of the blog “Just remember that when it comes to sweets, small servings are best.” Some ideas:

Let kids help. The more children are involved in whipping up fun and creative desserts, the more likely they are to love them.

Turn fruit into “candy.” Drizzle melted dark chocolate on apples, bananas, pears or other favorites. Place the fruit on wax paper and chill it in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes, then slice and serve.

Assemble fruit skewers. Cut fruit into bite-size pieces and let kids match up their favorite colors and spear them on a stick.

Try a nondairy ice cream. Coconut-milk ice cream — now available at most major grocery stores — has healthier fats that the body can burn easily for energy and that may help protect the heart.

Make nutritious milkshakes . . . Take almond or coconut milk, a banana, cocoa powder and ice cubes, and blend them into chocolate-banana milkshakes.

. . . or Popsicles. Toss fresh or frozen fruit in a blender with coconut water and pour the mixture into Popsicle molds for a low-calorie treat.

Make a pie alternative. Bake slices of apples, peaches or berries and top them with a mixture of oats, nuts, cinnamon and pure maple syrup. Cover with foil and bake for about 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees; remove foil for the last 10 minutes to make the topping crisp.

McClatchy Newspapers

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